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NSA cyber snooping worries BRICS

world Updated: Sep 27, 2013 13:43 IST

BRICS nations have expressed concern over reported cyber snooping by the NSA and emphasised that the security of Information and Communication Technologies is of great importance.

The statement comes in the aftermath of reports of cyber snooping by the US' National Security Agency (NSA) into internet communications of leaders and officials of many countries, including India.

BRICS grouping comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

In a joint media statement on Thursday, the margins of the 68th United Nations General Assembly here, the BRICS foreign ministers, including India's Salman Khurshid, "expressed their concern about the reported practices of unauthorised interception of communications and data from citizens, businesses and members of governments, compromising national sovereignty and individual rights".

"They reiterated that it is important to contribute to and participate in a peaceful, secure, and open cyberspace and emphasised that security in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) through universally accepted norms, standards and practices is of paramount importance," the statement said.

On Syria, the BRICS nations called upon all parties in the conflict to commit immediately to a complete ceasefire, to halt violence and to end all violations of human rights and humanitarian law, the statement said.

They condemned the use of chemical weapons and welcomed the Bashar al-Assad regime's decision to hand over the chemical weapons stock to international control. They also reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria and that it is time for diplomacy.

The countries expressed their full support to the efforts of the UN-Arab League Representative Lakhdar Brahimi in helping finding a political solution to the crisis.

The statement came as the five permanent members of the UN Security Council reached an agreement on a resolution to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

The ministers also welcomed the announcement of the resumption of talks between Palestinians and Israelis.